Family Humor Style – Academic Publication

For anyone who is interested, I published an article about my family’s humor style in the International Journal of HUMOR Research in 2003 (online in 2006). I wrote it for Deborah Tannen and it was called a “toy dissertation” because it was almost as long and intense as a dissertation. It’s actually 50 pages long, which you can’t usually get away with in an academic journal. Anyway, it can be found here.  It focuses on ‘hardship humor,’ which is also what my current contest speech for Toastmasters is about.

Fear of Making Mistakes – Quote – Ellen Langer

Our fear of making mistakes, our belief that we have no talent, and our comparisons with others all keep us from engaging any creative activity, and they do so without our realizing that the terms of engagement are ours to impose. We need not passively wait for something to propel our motivation to engage…
On Becoming an Artist, p. 210

“In There” CK Williams – Lines of the Day

Here I am, walking along your eyelid again
toward your tear duct. Here are your eyelashes
like elephant grass and one tear
blocking the way like a boulder.

It probably takes me a long time
to figure it out, chatting with neighbors,
trying penicillin, steam baths, meditation
on the Shekinah and sonnet cycles

and then six more months blasting
with my jackhammer before I get in there
and can wander through your face, meeting you
on the sly, kissing you from this side.

I am your own personal verb now. Here I come,
“dancing,” “loving,” “making poems.”
I find a telescope
and an old astronomer

to study my own face with,
and then, well, I am dreaming behind your cheekbone
about Bolivia and tangerines and the country
and here I come again, along your eyelid, walking.

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